8th Graders at GVMS joining GVHS Cheer

Reese Zipperlen

8th-grade students at Garnet Valley Middle School are getting ready to join GVHS. Cheerleading tryouts are coming up in late April, early May.

Any tryout for someone could be extremely nerve-wracking, so, how do they feel going into this? Are they excited or nervous? Why do they feel the way they do? “I feel somewhat nervous when I go to the clinics because the high schoolers are really good and intimidating,” says Katie Yeung.

She said she feels the way she does because “the stunts, jumps, and tumbling skills that they have are really good”. From personal experience, I can tell you that this feeling happens to most cheerleaders first entering the program. When I came to tryouts almost a year ago, watching all of the upperclassmen made me feel anxious and scared. They all are amazing cheerleaders, and I didn’t know if I could fit that standard at first. All of my sources mostly felt the same.

A question that is very important to ask is, how do you think high school cheer will affect your school and social life differently than middle school did? Devon Abukasis responded with, “I feel like high school cheer will affect greatly on my social life because I will get the chance to meet new people, some in my grade that I may have never talked to and some that are older than me. It is a good opportunity to make new friends and it’s different from middle school cheer because we only see 7th and 8th graders, in high school, we will get the chance to cheer and talk to people in all grades.”

This statement is very true, but to add on, it limits the amount of free time you have. Being able to balance sports, school, and social life in high school is a very crucial skill to have, and it takes quite a bit of time to learn how to balance it correctly.

What I’ve learned over the course of my 7 years of cheerleading is that every program is different. I have especially seen differences between the middle school and high school programs. After the past two clinics we’ve had, I asked my sources what they thought the differences were.

Katie Yeung says, “it is way more competitive and it definitely requires more skill and effort than middle school cheer”. Now, let me put this into context. This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easier, but middle school is more of a learning experience, where high school is an enhanced, more competitive version of it. In high school, competitive cheer is offered along with sideline, in middle school, competitive is not offered. High school cheer also provides the opportunity to learn the more advanced skills cheerleaders are looking for, where middle school provides a good baseline needed for high school.

Overall, the 8th graders are very excited to move on and join the high school next year, and we can’t wait to see what they have to offer. Below, there are pictures of things that went on during the 2017 – 2018 season that the 8th graders might experience next year.

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